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Continuity Insights Management Conference

FACULTY – Workplace Violence: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

Norbert “Bert” J. Alicea 

Bert Alicea is a Licensed Psychologist with more than 27 years of experience in the EAP field. Bert specializes in assisting with difficult workplace situations and is a premier trainer in Employee Assistance. Bert specializes in conducting trainings locally and on a national level on topics including harassment awareness; violence prevention; drug free workplace; DOT compliance training; and supervisor EAP awareness training. Bert also has a specialization with executive coaching; conflict mediation; and management and supervisor consultations in assisting with difficult workplace situations.

Bert obtained a Masters of Arts in Industrial Psychology from West Chester University, West Chester, PA and he also has his Bachelors of Science in Psychology from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA. He is a Licensed Psychologist, a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP) and a U.S. Department of Transportation qualified Substance Abuse Professional. He is also a national member of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association.

Bert actively participates in the Philadelphia Chapter of EAPA and in 2007 he was awarded the “EAP of the Year Award for 2006” by the Employee Assistance Professional Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter.

Steven M. Crimando. MA, BCETS, CHS-V

Steve Crimando is an internationally known consultant and educator specialized in the application of the behavioral sciences in homeland and private security, violence prevention, crisis management, and disaster response. He is the Principal of Behavioral Science Applications, an innovative operational risk management consulting firm based in the New York Metro Area serving a global client base.

Steve is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress (BCETS), a Diplomate of the National Center for Crisis Management; the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, and the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, where he serves as an officer on the Board of Directors. He is a Certified Trauma Specialist (CTS), a Certified Police Instructor, and holds Level 5 Certification in Homeland Security (CHS-V). He is a member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, an expert in threat assessment and threat management, and is frequently called upon by law enforcement agencies, the media and the courts to provide insight on workplace, school and community violence prevention and response, including acts of extreme violence such as active shooter incidents.

Steve served as a Disaster Field Operations Supervisor for the FEMA’s mental health response to the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks and coordinated onsite psychological operations at New Jersey’s Anthrax Screening Center. He helped coordinate psychological support services at such incidents as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Hurricanes Floyd, Irene and Sandy, and TWA Flight 800 crash. Steve has assisted at over a dozen major air crashes and has counseled many victims of violence, including those who were targets of the Unabomber, international kidnappings and other acts of terrorism. He serves as a consultant and trainer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)-Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Office for Victims of Crime (OVC); U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)-Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA); U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS)-Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC); U.S. Public Health Service; National Criminal Justice Training Center; New York Police Department (NYPD)-Counterterrorism Division (CTD), and the United Nations Emergency Preparedness & Support Team.

Steve is the author of many published articles and book chapters. He has been featured for his work in violence prevention and response in many professional journals, magazines and newspapers, and frequently appears on both network and cable news and talk shows, as well as in the courts, as a subject matter expert addressing the behavioral aspects of public and private sector crisis prevention and response.

Phillip DeMara, MSEd

Phillip DeMara is a consultant and trainer specialized in behavioral factors in disaster response, public health emergency management, violence prevention and crisis intervention. He is currently the Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response in the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) and a subject matter expert with Behavioral Science Applications. He received his Master’s in Education in Counseling Psychology at the University of Miami, Florida. He has worked at DBHIDS for the last 20 years, with the last 15 years being assigned responsibility for disaster planning, response, and recovery activities. During those 15 years, he spent two years working in the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, where he was the Deputy Director for Planning.

In 2005, Phillip was the Manager for the Philadelphia FEMA Crisis Counseling grant, which provided crisis counseling and outreach to Hurricane Katrina evacuees living in Philadelphia for two years, and in 2006 he coordinated the mental health response as part of the Lebanese Repatriation efforts in the City of Philadelphia. In 2015, he was the behavioral health lead for the Papal Visit, a National Special Security Event (NSSE), and led the behavioral health response for the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia. In addition to disaster response, Phillip is also the Director of the Network of Neighbors Responding to Violence, a city-wide Trauma Response Network, Chair of the Victim Community Support Collaborative, and has recently been appointed co-chair of the Public Health and Trauma Informed Care Subcommittee of the Mayor’s Gun Violence Prevention Committee. He works with partners in City, state and federal law enforcement, intelligence and public health agencies on an ongoing basis.

For the last 10 years, Phillip has been developing and conducting training programs in basic disaster mental health, behavioral health response to disaster and community violence, personal and family preparedness, access and functional needs awareness, and continuity of operations, as well as developing and implementing tabletop and functional exercises in disaster behavioral health. The last two years he has been providing training in emergency behavioral health for the PA Department of Human Services: Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Megan Gomez, Esq.

Megan Gomez is senior legal counsel for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Since joining the company in 2007, Megan has supported many departments within the health plan, including Utilization Management, Credentialing, and Analysis and Recovery. Currently, she works with the company’s medical group and long-term care insurance company. She also serves as attorney for Human Resources across the enterprise, which includes about 6,000 employees, handling issues raised by the HR team, as well as external inquiries from oversight agencies.

In her work with Human Resources, Megan has focused on diversity and inclusion, challenging management to embrace the idea that diversity is broader than skin color or ethnic background. One recent project she worked on with the Employee Resource Groups, sponsored by Excellus BCBS’ Office of Inclusion, sought to achieve greater inclusion of employees experiencing gender transition. The team-based project aims at ensuring company-wide support for those individuals.

Megan earned her law degree from the University at Buffalo in 2005 and began her career as an attorney in 2006 at Brown & Kelly, LLP, in Buffalo, New York. She completed her undergraduate studies at Binghamton University in just three years and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 1999.

Sarah J. Powell, MA

Sarah Powell is the Director of Emergency Management for Temple University and provides strategic direction, subject matter expertise, and operational coordination for the university emergency management and mission continuity programs. Sarah strives to set ambitious goals for advancement and innovation in emergency management in higher education, and she focuses on coalition-building both inside and outside the institution. The scope of her work in that capacity includes test, training and exercises; critical incident management; emergency operations and mission continuity planning; preparedness education; and risk assessment and mitigation efforts.

In the past year, Sarah served as a consultant and subject matter expert for the Pennsylvania state Departments of Health (DOH) on projects pertaining to infectious disease and behavioral health response. As a consultant on the Behavioral Science Applications team, Sarah also provided training for the Department of Defense on the Psychosocial impacts of CBRN incidents. She serves as an adjunct faculty member for Temple University’s Community and Regional Development program and Philadelphia University’s Disaster Medicine & Management and Community & Trauma Counseling graduate programs. Over the past 12 years, Sarah has additionally consulted with a number of local, state, and national institutions on a topics that pertain to critical incident response and strategic planning, including business continuity and disaster recovery.

For 10 years, Sarah was the Project Director for the Center for Preparedness Research, Education, and Practice (CPREP). In that capacity, Sarah gained significant experience and expertise in the area of public health preparedness and disaster behavioral health. While with CPREP, Sarah developed curricula, training, and competencies for volunteer disaster mental health responders in the five county southeast PA region. While working with the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health in that role, she supported and managed the 100+ member voluntary Community Response Teams (CRTs), trained to provide Psychological First Aid, Crisis Counseling, and other behavioral health resources following community crisis and/or large scale disaster events. She has set new benchmarks for HSEEP-structured disaster behavioral health exercise and evaluation programs. Sarah is a fervent advocate for preparedness education and all-hazards planning.

Detective Joseph Rovnan

Detective Joseph Rovnan is a 28-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department. He began his career serving the citizens of Philadelphia as a patrol officer in the 26th, 35th, and 8th districts. Upon his promotion to his present position of detective he was assigned to Northeast Detective Division where he investigated various crimes. Following the events of 9/11 he was selected by the Police Commissioner to serve on the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Here he investigated terrorism cases along with FBI. In 2004 he was reassigned to the Homeland Security Counter-Terrorism Operations section of the Philadelphia Police Department where he is currently assigned. At this assignment, he has excelled as primary negotiator for the city during hostage, barricade and critical incidents in the city and surrounding areas. Detective Rovnan is the lead instructor for the city’s negotiator program, as well lead instructor for several Weapons of Mass Destruction courses, Counter-Terrorism Operations, and the use of personal protective equipment. Detective Rovnan also serves as a team leader on the Major Incident Response Team (MIRT) for Philadelphia and surrounding counties.

Detective Rovnan has been involved in the active shooter program for several years and is considered a subject matter expert in this field. He was selected as panel member at The National Constitution Center where he presented, as well in front of the judicial district, stadiums, law firms, private security, private businesses, and hotels. Detective Rovnan was also selected by the Governor’s Office to present the Active Shooter Keeping Kids Safe program held for the entire school district of Philadelphia.

Cynthia L. Simeone, PMP, CBCP, CHPCP, MBCI

Cynthia Simeone has more than 20 years of corporate strategic and operational risk management experience. Her specialties include human capital crisis response management, business resilience program development and management, pandemic planning, process reengineering and change management, IT project, program, and portfolio management, and technology service delivery. Cynthia has domain expertise in Healthcare and Financial Services, and has consulted for Fortune 100 companies in various industries.

She is a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) and Certified Healthcare Provider Continuity Professional (CHPCP), and is a member of the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII), Business Continuity Institute (BCI), and the Association of Contingency Planners. Cynthia also holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and is a former President of the Project Management Institute (PMI) New York City Chapter where she advocated and implemented career mentorship and community, corporate, and educational outreach programs focused on project management. She has presented at both Project Management Institute Global Leadership and national Continuity Insights Conferences and was included as an expert commentator for the Financial Management Network business continuity planning segment.

Cynthia graduated cum laude from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in Music, and continues to explore team dynamics and the impact of high performance in the corporate environment.

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